Standard Life nabs US$500 million in new California pension program

The California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) has awarded a US$500 million mandate to Standard Life Investments through its multi-asset class (MAC) partners program.

Standard Life was one of four external managers selected to partner with the pension fund as part of the MAC program, which aims to outperform the CalPERS total fund over market cycle, as well as facilitate information from MAC Partners to CalPERS investment staff to develop scalable, sustainable methods of meeting long-term investment goals.

Keith Skeoch, Standard Life Investments chief executive, said it was an innovative, first-of-its-kind relationship.

The investment manager's approach for the MAC fund has been modelled on its Global Absolute Return Strategies (GARS) which implements three-year market views to take advantage of short-term market inefficiencies.

"What is really exciting about the partnership is the knowledge exchange element of the program, and strong alignment of our interests with those of CalPERS and its participants," Skeoch said.

"We look forward to a long and successful relationship."

CalPERS chief investment officer Joseph Dear said it was excited to gain Standard Life as its first MAC program partner.

"Standard Life's approach presents us with an excellent opportunity to add value to our portfolio, and to our investment operations by bringing in an outside perspective as we work toward our long-term investment goals," he said.

CalPERS is the largest public pension fund in the US, with approximately $256 billion in assets and over 1.6 million members and 3,000 public employers.

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